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"Help! Everyone in my household is constantly triggering each other..." read/watch for answers :-)

Hi all!

Above is a link to a new YouTube video I posted about managing a household with loved ones who have conflicting sensory needs. Below is the full transcription of the video.

This is unlike my other videos as it is an interview-style video and goes MUCH deeper into the topic of SPD. It's therefore 45-minutes long rather than the typical 5 or so minutes.

If you appreciate the video and are interested in seeing more content like it, please comment on the video and let me know!

With that said, here's the full video transcript for those interested...

Hi there, I'm Nicole Filippone, autistic advocate and author. Welcome to my channel. For those who are new here, I talk all about autism, SPD, and related conditions in my videos, but more than just spreading awareness and identifying challenges, I try really hard to focus on solutions and strategies whenever I can.

So, I really hope you find my content not just valuable, but also practical in terms of what you can do with the information I share here.

And if this ISN'T your first time on my channel, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you so very much.

Ok, so, today we're going to be doing things a bit differently. If you've seen my other videos, you know that I usually touch on subjects at somewhat of a high level. You might have seen my very first video called "Let's talk about SPD"... well, this one is a deeper dive into SPD... like a super duper deeper dive. Particularly coming from the perspective of a parent with sensory kiddos. Especially if that parent is sensory themselves (like I am).

Earlier this week, I met with Karla Pretorius from AIMS Global (I'll link to her channel below so you can check out her content as well) and we talked about how to co-exist in the same space as loved ones who have conflicting sensory needs.

This is an interview-style video and is chock full of strategies... so, stick with both of us as we break it down....

<<Intro Music>>

Karla Pretorius: Hi, Nicole from sensory stories. It is lovely to see you here. It's an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for joining me. I wanted to ask you to introduce yourself to the listeners but I will ask you a bit more of a specific question. What is your interest in autism and related conditions?

Nicole Filippone: First of all, pleasure to be here, Karla, you’re just a wonderful person and I love talking to you. Um, so I am autistic and my goal with my platforms is just to spread as much awareness as possible, connect dots for people who are no divergent and don't necessarily know or people who know, and they're not sure how to deal with their life challenges, so, That's my interest in it.

Karla Pretorius: Of thank you so much again and thank you for the compliment. I know that you have a presentation that you wanted to share that I’m really excited to learn about.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, absolutely. So this is something that I have talked about before, but I would love to be able to put this out on YouTube because I just think it would it would be a great topic for basically anyone to consume and to learn about. And that is the ability to coexist in a space with other people who have conflicting sensory needs. Which is a topic for me that is very important because in my household with five people, we basically all have different needs. So what I'm gonna talk about today is not just why that is but what can be done, what strategies that we can employ to make kind of everybody be okay. And this has nothing to do with how much you love a person. It just has to do with your sensory triggers. That doesn't, you know, it's not anyone's fault, it's not your fault. It's not their fault. It's just the reality of the situation. So, what I want to talk about today is strategies you can use so that everybody gets their needs met.

Karla Pretorius: It's an awesome topic. I'm quite sensory sensitive. So, I'm really excited to hear about it so that I can explain to the people in my house how to manage me better.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, I am very sensory sensitive as well. So yeah, I and I talk a lot on my platform about sensory anxiety because to me when my sensory sensitivities are triggered, I have massive anxiety. I wrote an article about my experience with basically sensory anxiety, leading, to me having a stress-induced heart attack. It was called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, and that was from sensory anxiety over the course of a period of time that just didn't go away and got worse. So one of the many reasons why it's so imperative that if you are sensory sensitive and you have sensory anxiety that you work on addressing the triggers.

Karla Pretorius: Yeah, I'm really sorry to hear about that. You did tell me this before but you also wrote a nice blog about this and you have some incredible resources which I will definitely link to this video when we share it, just to kind of help everyone out there because it's extremely important.

Nicole Filippone: Well, thank you. And yeah. I love just getting the information out there and the resources out there and a lot of my resources are free on my website and pretty much everything that we go over today that I'm gonna be sharing several of those are on my website. So, Awesome. Should I jump in and just start talking to the one that I have open.

Karla Pretorius: Yes, please.

Nicole Filippone: Okay. All right, so this resource is a visualization of how sensory processing works in different people. So sensory processing describes the way that the brain reacts to sensory inputs. And then sensory processing disorder is when the brain takes in sensory information, but then doesn't know how to organize it.

So, those with SPD respond to sensory information differently than the average person, and the average person sometimes is referred to as a neurotypical person because their brain, their neurotype is typical or average and so the SPD person responds differently than the average which is why their responses seem sometimes inappropriate to those around them. And I use that term in quotes on purpose because it's not inappropriate objectively. But it sometimes can look or seem inappropriate to those that are observing that behavior. So, if you look at this graphic here, there are essentially for types of for Neurotypes within the sensory universe. So, you have the quote unquote under responsive neurotype where there's literally no registration or registering of the sensory input at all and therefore no response to it. Then you have the sensory seeker neurotype and that person is registering the sensory input as not enough. So then they're oftentimes responding by seeking out more of that sensory input. Then you have the neurotypical neurotype and that is just the register it normally normally again in quotes.

And then finally the sensory sensitive neurotype and this is where you register it as too much and therefore have a fight flight or freeze response to the input. In my personal case, I usually have a flight response which is why I call myself a sensory avoider but not every sensory sensitive person is an avoider. So that's why I have it as sensory sensitive on this graphic. All right, so moving on to the next one here.

This is a visualization I put together that shows some examples of how SPD can manifest and it's really important to note that one person can have a mix of the responses. You don't have to be only one or only the other and this is one of the main questions that I get when it comes to SPD, can you be both? Absolutely, you can 100% be both. And so the responses have to do with you know all of the sensory…. from your senses.

So you know, your sight, your sound, the smell, the texture, all these things and what can happen is that based on the specific circumstances of what's happening, a person can respond differently and also even depending on the way a person is experiencing internally what's going on… emotionally what's going on with them… they might have a different response as well. Now, the difficulty coexisting with individuals who have conflicting sensory needs is sometimes tied to sensory seeking behaviors, triggering sensory sensitive responses, but there are many ways that conflicting needs can play out. You can have a sensory seeker triggering a sensory sensitive person but you can also have someone with mixed sensory needs triggering. Someone else with mixed sensory needs and you can even have someone who is a sensory sensitive person, triggering someone else who sensory sensitive and this happens a lot in my house.

So the important point with this topic is that at the core of it, it's all about working together to make sure everyone's needs are met. That is literally, the point of all of this. So, before I move on, I just want to note that conflicting needs can interfere with any relationship. It can be a relationship between peers at school. It could be between a teacher and a student. For the purposes of this conversation, I'm just going to be focusing on the household family relationships and strategies that can be helpful within that context. So I'm not gonna deep dive into this visualization, but hopefully people can pause the video and read through it. Or download it and have it on their end.

So moving on, you see the list of sensory triggers, particularly ones that are caused by others as opposed to triggers related to the environment that others don't necessarily have control over. So that's the first graphic in the second graphic you see a list of sensory sensitive responses to those triggers, like kicking hitting covering ears, shutting down irritability anger. What's most important to understand is that the responses are the result of the triggers. Understanding this is what makes it possible for you to problem solve rather than react with your own triggered responses.

So imagine you have a kid who is in meltdown mode, something is overwhelming them, they're in a state of sensory overload and their overload triggers you. And now how are you going to help them? It's really hard to help them when you are triggered. But if you're able to think from a problem-solving state, like my child is having a reaction to something. What is that thing? And how can we get that thing removed? Basically, the trigger removed? Then that's how you're able to be there to support them and then yourself ultimately as well.

When we have triggered responses as parents, we tend to use reactive measures or behavioral strategies to address the behaviors. So it's like for example taking something away, which is negative reinforcement. Or giving them something they want, which is positive reinforcement and this would be to motivate them to change their behavior. But these methods are rarely effective because the underlying issue is sensory. And if the triggers aren't addressed, the behaviors won't change. For example. Say, a child is having a meltdown because they're overstimulated by their sibling who's being loud. If you threaten to take away their screen time because they're melting down, that won't result in a behavior change, because the trigger is still there.

On the other hand, if you focus on the overstimulation, recognizing that it's not within their control and come up with ways to remove the trigger, like, asking the child who's being loud to lower their voice because it's causing your sensory sensitive child distress, that is much more likely to result in a behavior change. For example, the child no longer having the meltdown because they are able to self-regulate. So that's an example of how all that can play out.

So, one thing I want to talk about is, strategies that you can use in the moment. So your child is melting down, you're getting overwhelmed and anxious. What do you do? Well, you want to first start with yourself. It's similar to putting that oxygen mask on yourself before your child if you're in a plane and there's turbulence. You need to first focus on yourself before you can help your child.

So, you need to do whatever you can to calm yourself down and reduce your own anxiety in the moment. Then, once you have your problem-solving hat on, you can go through the exercise in the graphic I'm going to move onto now and identify the trigger that has created the sensory overload and then come up with solutions, based on the situation at hand. So, in this graphic, there are three examples of things you can do to get their needs met. The three main things that I have employed in my whole entire life… it used to be kind of instinctually but over the course of time I started to put it into a framework and really understand what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. The three main things you can do is escape the trigger, drown out the trigger and then if those two things aren't a possibility then you can try and ask for an accommodation and essentially change the environment through that. So escaping the trigger is the quickest way to address the need. If, for example someone's playing loud music, I can just leave. But if what if I can't leave.

So after you say that's not a possibility, then you can try and drown out the trigger. In this example, with sound a lot of the time, I put my headphones on and I'll listen to my own music because noise canceling headphones only do so much, but if you have music coming in, then that drowns out the sound. So that would be option number two, that I find extremely effective. So, for example, let's say I'm in the car with my kids and one of my kids, I have a seeker, one of my kids is triggering my sensory sensitive kid.

So having him be able to put on headphones, for example, could potentially solve that problem, although it becomes a lot more complicated when he has a visual triggers. So I'm not gonna go into that right now, but, thirdly, if neither of those are possible, then you want to ask for an accommodation and in the case of my kids being in the car, it's basically saying, to the seeker, would you mind not doing that? Please don't hum. Please don't kick the back of my seat, things like that. And so, but the reason that's the kind of last resort is because it's the most challenging. You need other people to agree and comply, and sometimes it's not possible for them to. My seeker sometimes doesn't control, it's like not really within her control, even though you think it is. But stimming sometimes automatic. So, it could be very challenging. So options one and two are usually best. But, you know, honestly, sometimes all three of these are impossible, so we're not going to talk about that right now.

Now one of the main things you can do is actually to be proactive. You don't want to just look at the situation in the moment and then have to deal with it if you don't have to. So this resource, walks through some examples of ways that you can be proactive. So, Essentially, if you get everyone's needs met beforehand, then the chances of people being triggered are slim to none.

So one thing you can do is to educate your child, teach them about SPD so they can advocate for themselves, buy sensory products. For a sensory sensitive kid that would be noise, canceling headphones, for example, white noise machines for me, I sleep with a fan at night like that, otherwise, I want to be able to sleep. Stress, balls, eye masks, if they get, if they have visual overstimulation things like that. And then you want to have a sensory friendly space for them where they can go, when they need to escape the trigger. You also want to be mindful of your own noise levels. Like, even for me, I am very sensory sensitive, but I can be pretty loud when I'm on a call like this. For example, I have a really hard time modulating my voice, and my husband's office is right beneath mine. And so, he could hear me pretty clearly when I'm talking. So I try really hard. He's not home right now. Thankfully because it this way, I don't have to worry about my modulation, but like when he is home, I do try really hard to be mindful of that. And sometimes I forget and then he just sends me a text or something and he asks me if I can just lower my voice a bit and then that helps a lot too. And then there's cognitive behavioral therapy which is a type of talk therapy that sometimes helps as well.

Okay, moving to the next one. Now, proactive strategies for the sensory seeker. Here are some. Educate your child. If they understand the way their brain works, they can advocate for themselves much much much more effectively. My daughter one day, this is probably three or four years ago at this point. She's eight now. So it would be when she was five, just entering school, banged her head really hard on a table like really hard. She got a giant welt on her forehead, and the and the first thing she said to the child care person, that was watching her at that time was “I have SPD” and the person didn't, of course, know what it is. But she tried to explain what it is and basically SPD, when you're a sensory under sensitive person, so sensory seeker, is sometimes you have a hard time knowing where your body is in space, so you're more likely to have accidents. And so it's just the child being able to talk to other people and explain what's going on in words that they can understand too so that they can make the accommodations if they need to. So, super important and that goes for both sensory seekers and sensory sensitive kids.

Same as the other one buy sensory products. Sensory seekers are always moving around and stimming. So, buy fidget toys, and things like that. Same as before, sensory friendly space. But in this case, you want to put a whole bunch of sensory friendly toys and gadgets and stuff in it, which could be a sensory room. In our house, we have a trampoline with a swing in it and we have a makeshift ball pit. We took our old pack and play, and threw a bunch of ball pit balls in it. So, sensory friendly space where they can go stim and get their needs met without the risk of hurting themselves or destroying your house.

And then sign up your child for relevant sensory activities. We put our kids, our daughters into gymnastics, for example, and then there's also occupational therapy, which is extremely helpful for sensory seekers specifically. And then there's another possibility of doing a sensory diet, which is more that I won't go into that much right now, but I do have some resources on my website, that explain that.

Reading books. Next one is educating yourself as a parent or caretaker. There's this book called the Out-of-Sync Child. Amazing book. This is what taught me all the fundamental and everything that I now know about SPD and I just highly recommend this book. This is what opened my eyes to my own sensory needs and my daughter’s. And now, everyone else in the house.

And so that is an amazing book. And then there are other types of resources which these are four books. There are lots of others, but the two on top are mine. And the two on the bottom are books that I just love and they're all sensory related. And what's great about these books is that you as a parent can learn from them. It's not just for the kids, but it's also for the kids. So, in the case of my books, they're always coming from a place of this is not the child's fault. This is not within their control and so therefore don't shame them for any of it just listen to their needs, ask them what they need or try and be extra sensitive to their needs. And in my two books, specifically I offer strategies to support, some of which include some of the things that I discussed today. So that brings me to the end of my presentation. But I know we talked about you having some questions for me.

Karla Pretorius: Yes, thank you. That's amazing. I absolutely love your books, by the way. I am definitely an Alexander, an Alex fan. Because he reminds me of myself, I guess.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, same here.

Karla Pretorius: And you will also be able to share where people can find these books, right?

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, so is where I have those books. I also have a new book out now called Paisley the Perfectionist: A Generalized Anxiety Disorder Story and GAD is Extremely common, in autistic kids, and also sensory kids. So, there's an overlap there in terms of the needs. And the GAD challenges are different than the sensory challenges so that's why it has its own book.

Karla Pretorius: Awesome. I see this with my clients that I'm working with, the adults, neurodivergent adults, there's always an element of anxiety. Paired with either ASD or ADHD or comorbid conditions. So it's really important to show people that there are different ways to manage each of those. So how do I determine what sensory needs my child has? So how do I do that as a parent?

Nicole Filippone: So, I understand this question because when I first got into this space it's like, where do I even start? The book, The Out-of-Sync Child actually goes into this in such great detail. It's like checklist after checklist after checklist. And it's amazing if you want a really thorough understanding. On my website, I have a couple of checklists that would be a much higher-level simplified version of what The Out-of-Sync Child discusses. Although I should put a disclaimer on that and say they are not meant to be diagnostic tools. They are meant to point you in the right direction. So, if you see a lot of check marks on the sensory sensitive checklist, and really not very many on the sensory Seeker checklist, then you most likely have a sensory sensitive kiddo. Vice versa could be the case too. And you can find that your child has checkmarks in both, and that's also very common, like I said earlier. So, yeah, just kind of looking through what the common behaviors are for the different types of sensory kiddos, and then getting a decent understanding of where your kid is, and then talking to a professional.

Karla Pretorius: Maybe an occupational therapist that specializes in sensory integration.

Nicole Filippone: Absolutely, yes. So, that's a good point you make. Not every occupational therapist does specialize in that. There are sensory clinics as well. So, we took our daughter to a sensory clinic up the road and they were amazing, but there are occupational therapists that are certified. My mother is actually an occupational therapist who was certified at one point in sensory integration and so they definitely exist.

Karla Pretorius: That's awesome. That's where you get a lot of information as well for the books, I guess.

Nicole Filippone: It is, she's my subject matter expert. She makes sure that my content is a hundred percent on point, and this because I don't have a degree in this, I have lived experiences and I have research that I have done, but I take great pains to make sure that I'm talking to someone who does have the education and background on these subjects. So that when I'm putting books out in front of kids, I'm not risking anything being even slightly not accurate.

Karla Pretorius: That's a great combination. You have lived experiences and you've got your mom and you've got your kids and you can bring them all into us. And as a parent I love the story about your daughter self-advocating for herself. Well, that's basically saying it twice, but self-advocating her sensory needs when she bumped her head, I hope it wasn't a big bump. But what would you say… she was okay?

Nicole Filippone: She was okay. But her school picture from that year, it was like the day after… not one we could hang up.

Karla Pretorius: Oh that's Murphy’s Law. It’s always like that? Isn't it?

Nicole Filippone: Yeah.

Karla Pretorius: It’s like when you have the big pimple and you have to take a photo for your website or something.

Nicole Filippone: Exactly.

Karla Pretorius: How do parents help? I know you also said that they can help their kids self-advocate by teaching them, their specific needs. But is there another way? Should they read your books? And then will that give them a sense of how to advocate for themselves.

Nicole Filippone: I think that… I like this question a lot because it's more than just awareness. It's awareness without judgment. And so, we want to break the stigma. We want to make it not seem like there's something wrong with a person who has these needs. There isn't anything wrong? It's just different brain wiring. Why I why I feel like maybe they should read my books is because the way in which I wrote those books was literally meant to not put any stigma around it, around SPD in general. And so, one of the reasons I think kids really appreciate my books is because they're very validating. You know, especially my last one which is about generalized anxiety disorder, my daughter helped me write that book and yeah, she was amazing. But the reason the kids are so validated is because I'm showing them one… This is not just you, two… I understand your struggles like this book makes a person who's reading it feel seen and understood. I've had adults tell me that about my books, like “Oh my God, I'm in this book.” Well, you told me about that you said something similar at the beginning. So, the point is that it's a very validating and not negative-oriented way of spreading education. There are lots of other, there's lots of stuff out there that tries to spread education, but it comes at it from a much more negative place. And so, I'm hoping to put a lot more content into the ether that does more and more of similar stuff that I'm doing in my books. And that's what my social media platforms are really all about. It's this is we're not broken, we just have different brain, wiring

Karla Pretorius: Yeah, exactly. It's so important because then I feel like, and I'm I can say this as an assumption, but I feel like the anxiety is also going to decrease, then as we enter adulthood…

Nicole Filippone: For sure.

Karla Pretorius: because we going to, we will be able to feel that validation, recognize that experience, and then really feel that we're accepted and that's all we want as a human being. We just want to be accepted and loved for who we are.

Nicole Filippone: Couldn't agree more.

Karla Pretorius: Going over to picky Eaters. I know that's a bit of a different topic, but we have quite a few picky eaters as part of our clients and parents are always asking do I have any advice for picky eaters. I know that it is a sensory sensitivity. But do you have any out of the box advice for parents? Perhaps to help them expand on their diets for their kids?

Nicole Filippone: You. Betcha, you betcha. I wasn’t prepared with this particular graphic, but I have it, so I’m going to open it up.

Here we go. So, we have sensory eater strategies so what is a sensory eater? A sensory eater often refuses foods that trigger sensory overload. The triggers can be physical, but they can also be mental.

In other words, a child might refuse to eat something just because in the past, they had a bad experience with it. So, some sensory eaters will choose, literally not to eat anything rather than to put food in their mouths that they believe will cause them discomfort or pain. And something really interesting, there is something in the brain in sensory sensitive people that literally rewires the touch, the physical touch sense to pain receptors. I have an article I can send you.

Karla Pretorius: Oh, wow. Yes please.

Nicole Filippone: But literally, I struggle with soft, gentle touch. Like it feels bad to me. There's literally something in the, it's something to do with white matter in the brain and it being wired to the pain receptors. So, when a kid is refusing to eat something, they literally might be avoiding pain. So, it's really important to mention… and I'll send you a link to the article.

So, what does it look like? Mealtime is really tough and the kid is just melting down on you a lot. The kid is screaming or pulling away during meals, maybe they're gagging at the sight smell or texture of certain foods, they are potentially avoiding foods within a certain food group. And then this one is more of a developmental example, but if they're not eating 20 foods by age two, then that's an indication that they might be a sensory eater. And there's something called ARFID, which is a restrictive food disorder. I forget what it actually stands for but those people are 100% sensory eaters and they're kind of the extreme version of a sensory eater. And then if the child isn't gaining weight in accordance with what is healthy for their height and weight, that would be potentially an indication. So, strategies…

One. Don't pressure your kid to eat triggering foods. I know you plan on asking me a question about desensitization. I'll bring it up right now. I don't believe in desensitization. As someone who struggles with a lot of specific sensory triggers the more I experience those triggers does not impact whatsoever how triggered I am. And the concept of desensitization is, the more you experience this, the less it will bother you. In my personal lived experience, I can say 100% not gonna work for me.

So, You know, you have to try other things. So, some other ways. Sorry, go ahead.

Karla Pretorius: Sorry, should we go to that question afterwards?

Nicole Filippone: Sure. I mean, I…

Karla Pretorius: Okay. Because yeah… there was something that I wanted to ask you about the desensitization because I also don’t really believe in it. But then… what happens… in this example, what happens if a child, just refuses to eat anything. Just the same pasta or fish fingers, the same thing, that’s the only thing they want to eat.

Nicole Filippone: So, it's hard. I think you need to work with a with a professional at that point. Every kid is different. I know what works for mine. I have extremely picky eaters and what I have done as a parent is I have literally adjusted every single meal for the specific kid. So, I have a general idea, I'm gonna make salmon tonight. Okay, well one of them absolutely hates salmon, but will eat it if I give her some kind of thing that I know, she really really loves. I'll be like if you eat this salmon, I'll give you this other thing and so she's just more inclined, but some kids won't do that. So, I can't, you know, that just happens to work for us. But then going into that a little bit more is that when I prepare lunches for the kids, all of all of them are different in some way or other, one of them won't eat a certain type of vegetable. One of them won't eat a certain type of fruit. One of them doesn't like this kind of cheese. One of them doesn't like that kind of cheese.

And so it's just a matter of doing whatever I can to adjust for them. I do, I know how important a well-rounded diet is and so I try to incorporate a fruit and vegetable, a protein and a, if I can make it complex, I will but not always, carbohydrate. But I also know that some kids just won't eat a well-rounded meal. So, at that point in time, I feel you would just need to bring a professional in, but hopefully not one who believes in desensitization. Because that's, you know. Here, I'll give another example… when my son was two, he literally wouldn't eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So, I got the all-natural jelly all-natural peanut butter, and 100% whole wheat bread rounds. And to me, that was the best version of that, that would be relatively healthy. Peanut butter is a protein, you know, all natural jelly doesn't have added sugar and the type of bread I used was the complex carbohydrate. So, To me, that was the best of all world at that time. And he went he went for two years, basically that was what he ate.

Karla Pretorius: Good place though. I love peanut butter jelly sandwiches.

Nicole Filippone: I love them too, but my daughters will not, they don't like them. They don't like them. But yeah, it's really very specific. Like I can't give generalities too too much.

This the resource right here does offer some general suggestions. Like you can let the kid just play around with it. Maybe they'll taste a little bit. Maybe they'll be willing to try a little bit. With my kids, I can usually negotiate them trying something out if I give them something that they really like. And I know not everybody's going to approve of that strategy and that's fine for them. This was something that has worked for me, and I really do think that it's very specific to each kid. And I can say for me, each of my kids are different. Very different when it comes to food.

Karla Pretorius: Yeah, I think it's very specific and it's so difficult to give general advice to everyone that's going to work.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah.

Karla Pretorius: And I think it's like you said playing with the food, maybe creating something themselves if they'd like it making their own recipes with the things that they like and maybe just adding one thing. and seeing so…

Nicole Filippone: Yeah. And there's one thing too that work that works with my pickiest Eater is that and she's eight now. If I literally feed, I know this might, people probably, some people are gonna judge, but whatever, I don't care. If I help her eat the food, she'll eat the food, and I don't see a reason not to so… that's how I get her to eat the salmon. Like, I'll literally give you, I'll feed it to you, Okay.

Karla Pretorius: Yeah. Yeah, like you take one bite, I'll take one bite, you take one bite I take one bite.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, I mean it's different for everyone. But you know, I think number one. what I have on this graphic. I'm pointing there because that's where it's displaying. But, is that don't pressure too too much and don't expect desensitization over time. I just don't believe in it.

Karla Pretorius: Yeah, no, that's perfect. Is that what you wanted to go through with the with the slide?

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, so that I touched upon the whole sensory eating.

Karla Pretorius: Okay, awesome. So just speaking, going back to the whole desensitization, because I had a conversation with Dr. Temple Grandin, and she was telling me this is a different type of sensory sensitivity that she had, she was really scared of the vacuum cleaner in her class when she was a kid. And she was talking to me about if she was in charge of the “Sensory Monster” or, you know, the thing that made all this noise it was better for her, which I thought was really nice because it's the same for me. If somebody plays music that's really loud, it feels like I get hurt, like physically, I'm in pain. Whereas, if I slowly turn my music up, it's okay.

Nicole Filippone: Yep.

Karla Pretorius: Because I’m in charge, I'm in control. So, I wonder, there's an element to that that we can probably include with the picky eating, as well? They're more in charge of what they prepare for themselves.

Nicole Filippone: A hundred percent agree. I talk about control a lot on my social media platforms, because for me, it's the same exact way. If someone is, if someone is shaking their leg in my peripheral view, I feel like my heart's gonna explode out of my chest, but if I'm shaking my own leg, I don't feel that way. Similar with music, you know, if I have control over the sensory input, if I have control over whatever it is, I'm usually not anxious about it. So, I completely agree with you and I'm 100% in agreement that giving the kid choices makes a difference. So, I'll give you an example. I just did this yesterday. I was trying to figure out dinner, dinner is always hard…

Trying to figure out dinner. And so, I came up with, I had three options. I knew none of them were going to be really received too too, well, but those were the three options that I had. One was salmon. Another one was braised beef and a third was essentially take out, but the takeout, this particular restaurant, the kids, you know, one of them loves it and then the other two are kind of like meh about it. And so I went to the three of them and I said which would you pick if you could pick something? And so, they all kind of told me… what ended up happening was, my son was the easiest because he just loves burgers from this place. So, we got him a burger and it's just it's very, I would say relatively healthy of a food item because you got the meat and the veggies in it and stuff. And so, then my daughters were not really wanting to take out. One of them was like, I guess if it's between those three things, I'll do take out and I'll get mac and cheese and then my other daughter, by the way, they're twins, said to me “I'm really not, I'm really not feeling the takeout.” She was like “I'll do the braised beef.” But normally she's not a big fan of the braised beef, but, um, so the braised beef is like, it was a package that is enough to feed a family. So, making that meal for just her was like, you know, do I do it? Do I not? Ended up doing it, and we got the food. And by the way, I got mac and cheese, and I got a side of grilled chicken to make it like with the protein.

My daughter, the one who I bought that for really doesn't like chicken, why? I don't know. I love chicken, but didn’t want the chicken. So she's eating the food and she's like, “I don't, this is not. It's not working for me.” She goes “Mom, can I have the braised beef?” And so, I was like, okay no problem. I took her grilled, chicken and threw it on my salad and took the mac and cheese and put it in the fridge. And I had a whole family serving size of the braised beef. So, I put the braised beef on the plate. Now all this to say, it wasn't their favorite meal of the week, but they ate it. They ate it. The girls ate, the braised beef. I made them some toast to go on the side of it and my son very happily ate his burger, and it really comes down to, they’re ultimately picking. So, I agree with you, 100%.

Karla Pretorius: Well, I mean you do have a lot of energy as well because making all those different choices and creating it, it's what's needed, but I I do get sometimes it's also quite draining because you have to have the different options and then make this. So, well done.

Nicole Filippone: Well, thank you. It is definitely draining and like some of might be like, oh, why were you in this situation at all where you had three options that they didn't really want? Because if you give them the same thing every single day, all day, they're gonna get tired of it and then you're gonna run out of things to give them. So, you gotta give them something, you know what I'm saying? So, there are things that they prefer and that I'll give them. But I really try to avoid giving the same thing all day every day, simply because I don't want to run out of that as an option.

Karla Pretorius: You want your safe option.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah.

Karla Pretorius: Well, that's that's basically it. I wanted to ask about your books but we, we did speak about that a little bit.

Nicole Filippone: Yeah.

Karla Pretorius: And I would love to share the links for your books, too, because I feel like that's needed for everyone to get. And then some of your website resources too. So, thank you so, so much for your time, Nicole. It is lovely speaking to you, you're a wealth of information. And resources and I absolutely love it. Thank you so much.

Nicole Filippone: You're welcome. Thank you, and thank you for having me.

Karla Pretorius: Of course.

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